The ground was sprinkled white by the time we pulled up to Mom’s childhood home on Wilson Street in Winona. It looked like the coating of powdered sugar from the Embassy commissary that Mom shook to over our Norwegian Christmas cookies.
There stood a witch. A long horrible nose quivered in the middle of a face framed by stringy black hair. She opened her mouth, revealing a few yellow teeth and dark holes where other teeth should have been.
As the leaves change to red, burnished yellow and blazing orange against the clear blue skies of fall in northern climes, South Florida continues to deliver pink, purple, white and lavender against a backdrop of green.
I once sipped champagne with Ralph Lauren in a walled garden at twilight; tottered on a rain-swept rooftop alongside Jimmy Carter; saved Uma Thurman from calamity; royally ticked off Lauren Bacall; and earned words of praise from Gloria Steinem.
I spent two years in New York City, Victoria. Then came the second summer, in 1952, when I was home in Winona on vacation. The young man who was to become your grandfather and I met again after having been apart for those two years .. and the rest, as they say, in another history.
“So, you’re cheating,” Mom said, sitting back against her chair. She looked at me, tapping her fingers on the chair arms for what seemed like a very long time. Then, she folded her arms in front of her chest. I waited for the other shoe to drop.
By the time you’re halfway through your second tour, third tour bidding goes from an abstract concept to very applicable. The end of first and second tour “directed assignments” means the beginning of your own advocacy to get your next Foreign Service position.
The nomadic life of my youth taught me four things: 1) be at home where you are; 2) let go when it's time; 3) settle in fast; and 4) forget there's anywhere else to be. This cycle puts you right back at 1) being at home where you are.
Before Hispanic Heritage Month 2018 comes to a close, let me jump aboard with this declaration: I am half-Norwegian, one-quarter Scottish, one-quarter German ... and 100 percent Hispanic.
At the end of the summer, Nik announced that I would be arriving in New York City in time for the opening events for the Henry Street Playhouse as part of Nik's Henry Street Dance Company.